Saturday, September 19, 2020

[Herpetology • 2020] Cnemaspis selenolagus • A New Species of Cnemaspis Strauch (Squamata: Gekkonidae) of the C. siamensis Group from Tenasserim Mountains, Thailand

 Cnemaspis selenolagus 
Grismer, Yushchenko, Pawangkhanant, Nazarov, Naiduangchan, Suwannapoom & Poyarkov, 2020

จิ้งจกนิ้วยาวสวนผึ้ง | Moon Rabbit Rock Gecko  || DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4852.5.3

An integrative taxonomic analysis recovered the new species  Cnemaspis selenolagus sp. nov. of the C. siamensis group as the sister species to C. punctatonuchalis. The new species was discovered in mountain evergreen tropical forests of in Suan Phueng District of Ratchaburi Province, western Thailand. Additionally, the analysis recovered a deep genetic divergence between northern and southern clades within the C. siamensis group that occur on opposite sides of the Isthmus of Kra—a well-known biogeographic region of cladogenic turnover. The description of C. selenolagus sp. nov. brings the total number of species of Cnemaspis in Thailand to 16, 11 of which compose the C. siamensis group—a lineage endemic to the Thai-Malay Peninsula. This underscores the physiographic complexity of this narrow peninsula in that it can support a large number of closely related species in only the northern two-thirds of its length.

Keywords: Reptilia, Integrative taxonomy, Thailand, biogeography, taxonomy, Isthmus of Kra, Ratchaburi Province

Maximum likelihood consensus tree of the Cnemaspis siamensis group .... 
Photo by Mali Naiduangchan.

Distribution of the species in the Cnemapsis siamensis group based in part from Grismer et al. (2014), Wood et al. (2017), Ampai et al. (2019), and Lee et al. (2019). Stars denote type localities.

 Cnemaspis selenolagus sp. nov. from Khao Laem Mt., Suan Phueng District, Ratchaburi Province, Thailand in life. 
B–E. Adult male paratype (cat. no. AUP-00767).
photo by Mali Naiduangchan
 Cnemaspis selenolagus sp. nov.
Moon Rabbit Rock Gecko | จิ้งจกนิ้วยาวสวนผึ้ง

Diagnosis. Cnemaspis selenolagus sp. nov. can be separated from all other species of Cnemaspis by the unique combination of having a maximum SVL of 36.2 mm; 10–11 supralabias; 10 infralabials; smooth ventral scales; six or seven continuous, elongate, precloacal pores in males; 16–18 non-linearly arranged paravertebral tubercles; tubercles absent from lower flanks; a patch of enlarged spine-like tubercles on flanks; no lateral caudal furrows; ventrolaeral caudal tubercles absent; lateral caudal tubercle row present; caudal tubercles note restricted to a single paravertebral row; smooth subcaudals; caudal tubercles encircle tail; no enlarged median subcaudal row; two postcloacal tubercles in males; no enlarged femoral scales; no shield-like subtibial scales; subtibial scales smooth and enlarged submetatarsals on first toe. These characters are scored across all species of Cnemapsis in Grismer et al. (2014), Wood et al. (2017), and Ampai et al. (2019) and across all species in the C. siamensis group along with diagnostic color pattern characters in Table 2.

Distribution. Cnemaspis selenolagus sp. nov. is to date known only from the type locality of Khao Laem Mt., Suan Phueng District, Ratchaburi Province, north Tenasserim Mountains, western Thailand (Fig. 1). 

Natural History. Cnemaspis selenolagus sp. nov. is a habitat generalist that was observed on both granite rocks and boulders and large tree trunks. Specimens occur in evergreen mixed montane tropical forest they were commonly observed at night taking refuge in the crevices of large boulders or beneath the bark of large trees, usually in wet areas close to rocky streams that are shaded during the day (Fig. 5). Like most other Cnemaspis, C. selenolagus sp. nov. is adept at substrate matching and closely resembles the colors of the lichens or dry moss covering the surfaces of the rocks or tree bark on which it is found (Fig. 4C) during the day. At night, specimens take refuge in the crevices of large rocks or on tree branches. 

Etymology. The new species name “selenolagus” is a Latinized noun of masculine gender given in apposition and is derived from Greek words “selene” (σελήνη) for “moon”, and “lagos” (λαγός) for “rabbit”, “hare”, and literally means “moon rabbit”. The name honors the Rabbit in the Moon Foundation, located in Suan Phueng, Ratchaburi, Thailand, in recognition of the Foundation’s efforts in environmental education and conservation in Thailand, and acknowledging their help and support in organizing our fieldwork in the Suan Phueng area. The recommended vernacular name in English is Suan Phueng Rock Gecko; in Thai is Jing Jok Niew Yao Suan Phueng (จิ้งจกนิ้วยาวสวนผึ้ง).

L. Lee Grismer, Platon V. Yushchenko, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Roman A. Nazarov, Mali Naiduangchan, Chatmongkon Suwannapoom and Nikolay A. Poyarkov. 2020. A New Species of Cnemaspis Strauch (Squamata: Gekkonidae) of the C. siamensis Group from Tenasserim Mountains, Thailand. Zootaxa. 4852(5); 547–564. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4852.5.3

[Mollusca • 2020] A Synoptic Review of the Family Dendronotidae (Nudibranchia): A Multilevel Organismal Diversity Approach

Dendronotus yrjargul 
Korshunova, Bakken, Grøtan, Johnson, Lundin & Martynov, 2020

A synoptic review of the family Dendronotidae is presented based on morphological and molecular data. Three genera are recognized: DendronotusPseudobornella, and Cabangus gen. nov. Two new Dendronotus species are described, D. yrjargul sp. nov. and D. nordenskioeldi sp. nov., which reveal fine-scale differences. Dendronotus yrjargul sp. nov. from mid-Norway and the Arctic regions is a sister species to the North Pacific D. kalikal. These two species are showing clear morphological and ontogenetic differences but are close in genetic distance. In contrast, Dendronotus nordenskioeldi sp. nov. from the Laptev Sea is externally similar to the white morphs of D. lacteus or D. frondosus, but according to the molecular data and radular morphology it is distinct from any of its congenerics. Comparison of molecular and morphological data of D. niveus from the type locality (White Sea) and material from other localities with those from the American North Atlantic coast (type locality of D. elegans) reveals their substantial similarity. Therefore, D. niveus is considered a junior synonym of D. elegans. The present review of the family Dendronotidae contributes to a general discussion on the species concepts and on a recent proposal of multilevel organismal diversity.

Keywords: CabangusDendronotusPseudobornella; molecular phylogeny; species problem; taxonomy

Dendronotus yrjargul sp. nov.

Etymology. From Norwegian yrjar (=  old name for the type locality in Ørland) and gul (= yellow) meaning “yellow/golden of Ørland” in reference to the remarkable habitus of this species.

Distribution. From Norwegian Sea to Kara Sea. 

Dendronotus nordenskioeldi sp. nov. 

Etymology. In honour of Baron Nils Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld, outstanding Arctic explorer, geologist, and mineralogist. The Laptev Sea had been originally named “Nordenskiöld Sea”, after this Arctic explorer.

Distribution. So far known only from the Laptev Sea.

Representaives of the genus Dendronotus (living specimens).
 photographs by T. Korshunova, A. Martynov, K. Fletcher, D. Miller, Y. Fujiwara, K. Hasegawa, K. Sanamyan, N. Sanamyan, and O. Zimina

Genus Dendronotus Alder & Hancock, 1845 
Type species. Dendronotus frondosus (Ascanius, 1774)

Dendronotus albopunctatus Robilliard, 1972
Dendronotus albus MacFarland, 1966 
Dendronotus arcticus Korshunova, Sanamyan, Zimina, Fletcher & Martynov, 2016
Dendronotus bathyvela Martynov, Fujiwara, Tsuchida, R. Nakano, N. Sanamyan, K. Sanamyan, Fletcher & Korshunova, 2020
Dendronotus claguei Valdés, Lundsten & Wilson, 2018
Dendronotus comteti Valdés & Bouchet, 1998
Dendronotus dalli Bergh, 1879 
Dendronotus elegans Verrill, 1880 
Dendronotus europaeus Korshunova, Martynov, Bakken & Picton, 2017

Dendronotus frondosus (Ascanius, 1774) 
Dendronotus gracilis Baba, 1949 
Dendronotus iris Cooper, 1863 
Dendronotus jamsteci Martynov, Fujiwara, Tsuchida, R. Nakano, N. Sanamyan, K. Sanamyan, Fletcher & Korshunova, 2020
Dendronotus kalikal Ekimova, Korshunova, Shepetov, Neretina, Sanamyan & Martynov, 2015
Dendronotus kamchaticus Ekimova, Korshunova, Shepetov, Neretina, Sanamyan & Martynov, 2015
Dendronotus lacteus (Thompson, 1840) 
Dendronotus nanus Marcus & Marcus, 1967 

Dendronotus patricki Stout, Wilson & Valdés, 2011
Dendronotus primorjensis Martynov, Sanamyan & Korshunova, 2015
Dendronotus purpureus Bergh, 1879 
Dendronotus robilliardi Korshunova, Sanamyan, Zimina, Fletcher & Martynov, 2016
Dendronotus robustus Verrill, 1870 
Dendronotus rufus O’Donoghue, 1921 
Dendronotus subramosus MacFarland, 1966 
Dendronotus velifer G.O. Sars, 1878 
Dendronotus venustus MacFarland, 1966 
Dendronotus zakuro Martynov, Fujiwara, Tsuchida, R. Nakano, N. Sanamyan, K. Sanamyan, Fletcher & Korshunova, 2020

Genus Cabangus gen. nov. 
Type species. Dendronotus regius Pola & Stout, 2008

Etymology. From the Indonesian word “cabang” meaning “branch” in reference to this genus as “dendronotids of the tropics” and to respect the great contribution of the Indonesian fauna to global marine biodiversity (e.g., Hoeksema, 2007).

Cabangus noahi (Pola & Stout, 2008) comb. nov. 
Dendronotus noahi Pola & Stout, 2008: 55–63, figs 6A, B. 

Distribution. Papua New Guinea, north coast, outer barrier reef, Bagabag Island, Bismarck Sea.

Cabangus regius (Pola & Stout, 2008) comb. nov. 
Dendronotus regius Pola & Stout, 2008: 46– 54, Figs 1–5.

Distribution. Tropical Indo-west Pacific.

Genus Pseudobornella Baba, 1932 

Type species. P. orientalis Baba, 1932 

 Tatiana Korshunova, Torkild Bakken, Viktor V. Grøtan, Kjetil B. Johnson, Kennet Lundin and Alexander Martynov. 2020. A Synoptic Review of the Family Dendronotidae (Mollusca: Nudibranchia): A Multilevel Organismal Diversity Approach.   Contributions to Zoology. DOI: 10.1163/18759866-BJA10014

Den gyldne nakensneglen fra Ørland, en ny og ukjent art 

[Paleontology • 2020] Extinction and Dawn of the Modern World in the Carnian (Late Triassic)

A life-scene from 232 million years ago, during the Carnian Pluvial Episode after which dinosaurs took over. A large rauisuchian lurks in the background, while two species of dinosaurs stand in the foreground. Based on data from the Ischigualasto Formation in Argentina. 

Summary of major extinction events through time, highlighting the new, Carnian Pluvial Episode at 233 million years ago. 

in Corso, Bernardi, Sun, ... et Benton, 2020. 
Illustration: Davide Bonadonna/ MUSE, Trento
The Carnian Pluvial Episode (Late Triassic) was a time of global environmental changes and possibly substantial coeval volcanism. The extent of the biological turnover in marine and terrestrial ecosystems is not well understood. Here, we present a meta-analysis of fossil data that suggests a substantial reduction in generic and species richness and the disappearance of 33% of marine genera. This crisis triggered major radiations. In the sea, the rise of the first scleractinian reefs and rock-forming calcareous nannofossils points to substantial changes in ocean chemistry. On land, there were major diversifications and originations of conifers, insects, dinosaurs, crocodiles, lizards, turtles, and mammals. Although there is uncertainty on the precise age of some of the recorded biological changes, these observations indicate that the Carnian Pluvial Episode was linked to a major extinction event and might have been the trigger of the spectacular radiation of many key groups that dominate modern ecosystems.

A life-scene from 232 million years ago, during the Carnian Pluvial Episode after which dinosaurs took over. A large rauisuchian lurks in the background, while two species of dinosaurs stand in the foreground. Based on data from the Ischigualasto Formation in Argentina. 
Illustration: Davide Bonadonna/ MUSE, Trento

Summary of major extinction events through time, highlighting the new, Carnian Pluvial Episode at 233 million years ago. 
Illustration: Davide Bonadonna/ MUSE, Trento

Jacopo Dal Corso, Massimo Bernardi, Yadong Sun, Haijun Song, Leyla J. Seyfullah, Nereo Preto, Piero Gianolla, Alastair Ruffell, Evelyn Kustatscher, Guido Roghi, Agostino Merico, Sönke Hohn, Alexander R. Schmidt, Andrea Marzoli, Robert J. Newton, Paul B. Wignall and Michael J. Benton. 2020. Extinction and Dawn of the Modern World in the Carnian (Late Triassic). Science Advances. 6(38): eaba0099. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba0099  

Newly discovered mass extinction event triggered the dawn of the dinosaurs

 Adriana C. Mancuso, Cecilia A. Benavente, Randall B. Irmis and Roland Mundil. 2020. Evidence for the Carnian Pluvial Episode in Gondwana: New multiproxy climate records and their bearing on early dinosaur diversification. Gondwana Research. 86; 104-125. DOI:  10.1016/
Abstract: Dinosaurs diversified in two steps during the Triassic. They originated about 245 Ma, during the recovery from the Permian-Triassic mass extinction, and then remained insignificant until they exploded in diversity and ecological importance during the Late Triassic. Hitherto, this Late Triassic explosion was poorly constrained and poorly dated. Here we provide evidence that it followed the Carnian Pluvial Episode (CPE), dated to 234–232 Ma, a time when climates switched from arid to humid and back to arid again. Our evidence comes from a combined analysis of skeletal evidence and footprint occurrences, and especially from the exquisitely dated ichnofaunas of the Italian Dolomites. These provide evidence of tetrapod faunal compositions through the Carnian and Norian, and show that dinosaur footprints appear exactly at the time of the CPE. We argue then that dinosaurs diversified explosively in the mid Carnian, at a time of major climate and floral change and the extinction of key herbivores, which the dinosaurs opportunistically replaced.

Massimo Bernardi, Piero Gianolla, Fabio Massimo Petti, Paolo Mietto and Michael J. Benton. 2018. Dinosaur Diversification linked with the Carnian Pluvial Episode. Nature Communications. 9: 1499 . DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-03996-1

[Herpetology • 2020] Amazophrynella gardai • A New Tiny Toad Species of Amazophrynella (Anura: Bufonidae) from east of the Guiana Shield in Amazonia, Brazil

Amazophrynella gardai 
 Mângia​, Koroiva & Santana, 2020

The combination of different approaches has successfully delimited new species within many Neotropical species complexes traditionally classified as a single nominal organism. Recent studies have shown that the Amazonian endemic genus Amazophrynella, currently composed of 12 small-sized species, could harbor several additional species. Based on morphology and molecular data, we describe a new species of Amazophrynella from east of the Guiana Shield, in Pará state, Brazil. The new species is characterized by having one of the biggest size of the genus (SVL of males 16.0–17.8 mm and females 22.9–24.4 mm), presence of a large palmar tubercle (occupying 2/4 of the palmar surface), 5.6–8.1% uncorrected p-distance from its sister clade (including A. teko, A. sp.1, and A. manaos) for the 16S mitochondrial gene, and 8.8% for the COI. The new species described here represents a newly discovered lineage. Of the 12 Amazophrynella species currently recognized, two were describe in the last century (A. bokermanni and A. minuta) and the remaining species were recently discovered and described (in the last six years), which underscores the degree to which species richness of Amazophrynella is underestimated.

Figure 3: Live specimens of Amazophrynella gardai sp. nov. 
(A–B) Amplected couple (ZUFMS-AMP12827, adult male, SVL 16.0 mm; ZUFMS-AMP12826, adult female, 22.9 mm). (C) Amplected couple (ZUFMS-AMP12829, adult male, SVL 16.6 mm; ZUFMS-AMP12828, adult female, SVL 24.0 mm). (D) Adult male (ZUFMS-AMP12822, SVL 16.5 mm). White circle in the (B) indicates the reticulated lower eyelid.

Figure 7: Defensive behavior on Amazophrynella gardai sp. nov. 
(A) Thanatosis and (B) Stiff-legged (ZUFMS-AMP12822, adult male, SVL 8.3 mm).


Amazophrynella gardai sp. nov. 

Diagnosis. The new species can be distinguished using the following combination of traits: (1) large size for the genus (SVL of males 16.0–17.8 mm and females 22.9–24.4 mm); (2) snout elongated, acuminated in lateral view and truncated in dorsal view; (3) dorsal skin spiculated (small sized warts with pointed tips); (4) ventral region with dark brown blotches, with a white background; (5) palmar and subarticular tubercles rounded; (6) big palmar tubercle, occupying 2/4 of the palmar surface.

Natural history (Fig. 7). One male individual (ZUFMS-AMP12822) showed stiff-legged behavior and thanatosis (death-feigning) during manipulation for photographs. The stiff-legged behavior is a defensive strategy to avoid detection by predators and thanatosis is used to avoid subjugation (Bertoluci et al., 2007; Toledo, Sazima & Haddad, 2011). Russel (2002) documented death-feigning behavior in Amazophrynella minuta” from Pacaya-Samiria National Reserve, Loreto, Peru (probably A. matses or A. amazonicola, see Rojas et al., 2015). This is the first report of stiff-legged behavior in the genus Amazophrynella.
We found individuals of Amazophrynella gardai sp. nov. by visual search and pitfall traps inside the forest (from 500 m up to 2,000 m from the edge). During visual search (both diurnal and nocturnal periods), we found three males (ZUFMS-AMP12822-24), one female (ZUFMS-AMP12821), and an amplected couple (ZUFMS-AMP12828-29) on the leaf litter. The individuals were in “Terra firme”, nearby to rivulets inside the forest, concentrating their activity during the morning, between 8:00–11:00 h am. Using the pitfall traps, we collected one female (ZUFMS-AMP12825) and one amplected couple (ZUFMS-AMP12826-27). February comprises the rainy season in the region and the presence of amplected couples may indicate that Amazophrynela gardai sp. nov. was in its breeding season. However, we have not observed males in calling activity.

Etymology The specific name is a patronym honoring Prof. Adrian Antonio Garda (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Norte, UFRN) for his extensive contributions to the knowledge of Neotropical anurans, his friendship, and his mentoring of SM and DJS during their doctorate degrees.

Distribution (Fig. 8). Amazophynella gardai sp. nov. is known only from its type locality, Óbidos municipality, Pará state, Brazil. The area where we found the new species is characterized as a Alluvial Forest type, with smaller trees where it is possible to observe a high concentration of palm trees.

Sarah Mângia​, Ricardo Koroiva and Diego José Santana. 2020. A New Tiny Toad Species of Amazophrynella (Anura: Bufonidae) from east of the Guiana Shield in Amazonia, Brazil. PeerJ. 8:e9887. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.9887

Friday, September 18, 2020

[Herpetology • 2020] Noblella worleyae • A New Species of Noblella (Anura: Strabomantidae) from the Río Manduriacu Reserve on the Pacific slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes

 Noblella worleyae 
Reyes-Puig, Maynard, Trageser, Vieira, Hamilton, Lynch, Culebras, Kohn, Brito & Guayasamin, 2020

With the third most biodiverse amphibian fauna in the world, Ecuador has bolstered this claim with a particularly high rate of species descriptions in recent years. Many of the species being described are already facing anthropogenic threats despite being discovered within privately protected reserves in areas previously not sampled. Herein we describe a new species of terrestrial frog in the genus Noblella from the recently established Río Manduriacu Reserve, Imbabura, Ecuador.  Noblella worleyae sp. nov. differs from its congeners by having a dorsum finely shagreen; tips of Fingers I and IV slightly acuminate, Fingers II and III acuminate, without papillae; distal phalanges of the hand slightly T-shaped; absence of distinctive suprainguinal marks; venter yellowish-cream with minute speckling and throat with irregular brown marks to homogeneously brown. We provide a detailed description of the advertisement call of the new species and present an updated phylogeny of the genus Noblella. In addition, we emphasize the importance of the Río Manduriacu Reserve as a conservation area to threatened fauna.

KEYWORDS: Western Andean slopes, terrestrial frog, phylogeny, conservation

Figure 5. Dorsal and ventral color patterns of  Noblella worleyae sp. nov. in life.
 (A, D) Dorsal pattern and ventral pattern of ZSFQ 2504, paratype, adult male, SVL = 15.5 mm;
(B, E) dorsal pattern and ventral pattern of ZSFQ 2502, paratype, adult male, SVL = 15.9 mm;
(C, F) dorsal pattern and ventral pattern of ZSFQ 550, paratype, adult male, SVL = 17.3 mm;

(G, J) dorsal pattern and ventral pattern of ZSFQ 552, paratype, adult female, SVL = 19.1 mm;
(H, K–L) dorsal pattern and ventral pattern of ZSFQ 550, paratype, adult male, SVL = 17.3 mm;
(I) dorsal pattern of an uncollected specimen.

Photographs by Jaime Culebras (a, b, d, e), José Vieira (c, f), Ross Maynard (g–k) and Scott Trageser (l).

 Noblella worleyae sp. nov. 
Proposed standard English name. Worley´s Leaf Frog
Proposed standard Spanish name. Cutín Noble de Worley

Diagnosis: The new species (Figures 3–6) presents the following characteristics: (1) skin of dorsum finely shagreen; (2) tympanic annulus and membrane visible externally, supratympanic slightly visible; (3) snout rounded in dorsal and lateral view (eye-nostril distance 55% of eye diameter, Figure 3); (4) dentigerous processes of vomers absent; (5) fingers not expanded distally, tips of Fingers I and IV slightly acuminate, Fingers II and III acuminate, without papillae (Figure 3); Finger I shorter than Finger II (Figure 3); nuptial pads not visible; circumferential grooves absent; (6) distal phalanges slightly T-shaped; phalangeal formula of hands: 2, 2, 3, 3 (Figure 6); (7) supernumerary palmar tubercles present, mostly at the base of the digits; subarticular tubercles rounded, proximal tubercles prominent; diminutive rounded ulnar tubercles present; (8) one elongated and subconical tarsal tubercle, two tarsal tubercles (inner tubercle 2–2.5x the size of the outer), small pigmented supernumerary tarsal tubercles, toes slightly expanded and slightly acuminate on Toes I and V, and cuspidate tips on Toes II–IV, papillae absent (Figure 3); (9) Toe V shorter than Toe III, distal portions of circumferential grooves present on Toes II–V, phalangeal formula of feet: 2, 2, 3, 4, 3 (Figure 6); (11) in life, dorsum brown to dark brown and densely splashed with light brown, brownish-gray, or turquoise, presence of a middorsal line continuing along the posterior lengths of hind legs cream to light brown; flanks light brown to dark brown with scattered irregular white to turquoise marks; venter yellowish-cream with minute speckling; throat with irregular brown to homogeneously brown marks (Figure 5); (12) female SVL 18.1–19.1 mm (n = 3, mean = 18.7); male SVL 15.5–17.9 mm (n = 4, mean = 16.6).

Etymology: The specific name is a noun in the genitive case and is a patronym for Dr. Elisabeth K. Worley (1904–2004), Professor of Marine Biology at Brooklyn College, naturalist, science communicator, educator, and mentor.

Carolina Reyes-Puig, Ross J. Maynard, Scott J. Trageser, José Vieira, Paul S. Hamilton, Ryan Lynch, Jaime Culebras, Sebastián Kohn, Jorge Brito and Juan M. Guayasamin. 2020. A New Species of Noblella (Amphibia: Strabomantidae) from the Río Manduriacu Reserve on the Pacific slopes of the Ecuadorian Andes. Neotropical Biodiversity. 6(1); 162-171. DOI: 10.1080/23766808.2020.1809287 

Another new frog species discovered in our Manduriacu Reserve


Ecuador es el tercer país más diverso en anfibios, y la descripción de especies en los últimos años ha aumentado considerablemente, evidenciando la presencia de nuevas especies en áreas privadas protegidas, muchas de las cuales enfrentan amenazas antropogénicas. Aquí describimos una nueva especie de rana terrestre del género Noblella de la vertiente pacífica de los Andes ecuatorianos en la Reserva Río Manduriacu, provincia de Imbabura. Noblella worleyae sp. nov. se diferencia de sus congéneres por la presencia de un dorso finamente granular, puntas de los dedos I y IV ligeramente acuminados, dedos II y III acuminados, sin papila; falanges distales de la mano ligeramente en forma de T; ausencia de marcas distintivas suprainguinales; vientre crema amarillento moteado con diminutos puntos  ,garganta con marcas cafés irregulares a homogéneamente café. Proporcionamos una descripción detallada del canto de la nueva especie y presentamos una filogenia actualizada del género Noblella. Además, enfatizamos la importancia de la Reserva Río Manduriacu como un área de conservación para fauna amenazada.

Palabras claves: estribaciones occidentales de los Andes, ranas terrestres, filogenia, conservación

[Herpetology • 2020] Microhyla kuramotoi • Distinct Species Status of A Microhyla (Anura, Microhylidae) from the Yaeyama Group of the Southern Ryukyus, Japan

Microhyla kuramotoi 
Matsui & Tominaga, 2020

A Japanese microhylid, Microhyla okinavensis, originally described from Okinawajima Island, middle Ryukyus, was long synonymized with M. ornata from India. However, molecular phylogenetic studies revealed its distinct species status from M. ornata, and more recent phylogenetic study revealed the population from the Yaeyama Group of the southern Ryukyus to be a sister taxon to Chinese M. mixtura and not to populations from the remaining group of the Ryukyus, that are sister to another Chinese species, M. beilunensis. The Yaeyama and the remaining Ryukyu populations greatly differ phylogenetically, although less clearly morphologically. From these data, we consider the Yaeyama population as a species distinct from M. okinavensis from the middle Ryukyus.

KEYWORDS: Microhyla beilunensis, Microhyla fanjingshanensis, Microhyla mixtura, Microhyla okinavensis, new species, Yaeyama Group

Dorsal (A) and ventral (B) views of male holotype of Microhyla kuramotoi sp. nov. (RUMF-ZH-01017). Scale bar = 5 mm.

Microhyla kuramotoi sp. nov.
[Japanese name: Yaeyama-Himeama-Gaeru]
[English name: Yaeyama Narrow-Mouthed Toad]

Microhyla okinavensis Stejneger, 1907, p. 89, (part); Parker, 1934, p. 138, (part); Okada, 1966, p. 42 (part).
Microhyla fissipes Okada, 1930, p. 63 (part); Okada, 1931, p. 71 (part).
Microhyla ornata Gressitt, 1938, p. 164, (part); Inger, 1947, p. 324 (part); Nakamura and Uéno, 1963, p. 66 (part).

Diagnosis: A member of the Microhyla fissipes species group of Garg et al. (2019), which is distinguished from other Microhyla groups by; small to medium-sized adults; nostrils placed towards the lateral sides of the snout; finger and toe tips rounded; terminal phalanges of toes knobbed or T-shaped; inner metatarsal tubercle present, elongate; outer metatarsal tubercle small, rounded; webbing between toes rudimentary; dorsal skin shagreened to sparsely granular; a narrow mid-dorsal line extending from tip of the snout to the vent.

Etymology: The specific name is dedicated to Dr. Mitsuru Kuramoto, Emeritus Professor of the Fukuoka University of Education, for his great contributions to Asian amphibian biology, including the fauna of the southern Ryukyus.

Map of East Asia (A) and Ryukyu Islands (B), showing distribution of Microhyla species. Open circle and obliquely hatched area: Microhyla kuramotoi sp. nov., reverse triangle and vertically hatched area: M. okinavensis, closed circle: M. beilunensis, closed triangle: M. fanjingshanensis, closed square and finely dotted area: M. mixtura, horizontally hatched area: M. fissipes.

Range: Yaeyama Islands of Southern Ryukyus, Okinawa Pref., Japan: Ishigakijima Is., Taketomijima Is., Kohamajima Is., Iriomotejima Is., and Haterumajima Is. Artificially introduced into Kuroshima Is.

Natural history: Microhyla kuramotoi sp. nov. occurs from lowlands to montane regions, and lives on the ground among leaf litter and grasses. The breeding season extends almost the entire year, but is usually intensive from February to October. Film-like egg mass is laid on the surface of various bodies of still waters including ponds, rice fields, temporary pools, and sometimes slowly flowing small streams. Eggs are dark yellowish brown in the animal hemisphere. Females collected from Iriomotejima Is. and Kohamajima Is., respectively, contained 624–1207 (mean=916.9) and 271–890 (528.9) mature ova of 1.0–1.3 (mean=1.2) mm in diameter (Matsui and Ota, 1984 as M. ornata). Larvae form a cohort, swimming slowly in the middle and upper layers of water sucking in plankton.

Masafumi Matsui and Atsushi Tominaga. 2020. Distinct Species Status of a Microhyla from the Yaeyama Group of the Southern Ryukyus, Japan (Amphibia, Anura, Microhylidae). Current Herpetology. 39(2); 120-136. DOI: 10.5358/hsj.39.120 

[Botany • 2020] Hoya gaoligongensis (Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae) • A New Species from Yunnan, SW China

Hoya gaoligongensis M.X. Zhao & Y.H. Tan

in Zhao, Wang, Yin, ... et Tan, 2020

We describe and illustrate Hoya gaoligongensis M.X. Zhao & Y.H. Tan (Apocynaceae, Asclepiadoideae), a new species native to mid-elevation moist evergreen broadleaved forests of Longling, Yunnan, SW China. We further compare the primary diagnostic morphological characters of H. gaoligongensis to its close relatives, H. yuennanensis Hand.-Mazz. and H. globulosa Hook.f. Compared with these two species, H. gaoligongensis has narrower long-oblanceolate leaves, much smaller lateral vein branch angles, and inconspicuous lateral veins. Although the corolla is similar in all three species, the relative positions of outer and inner corona lobe processes serve as a key character distinguishing these species. A side view of the corona of H. gaoligongensis shows that the outer lobe process is only slightly higher than the inner process, while the corresponding parts of H. yuennanensis are much higher, and those of H. globulosa are at almost equal heights. In addition, the glabrescent leaves and stems of both H. gaoligongensis and H. yuennanensis separate these taxa from H. globulosa.

Keywords: Longling Xiaoheishan Nature Reserve, taxonomy, wax plant, Marsdenieae, Eudicots

Ming-Xu Zhao, Heng-Ying Wang, Zhi-Jian Yin, Meng-Jun Wang, Jin-Chao Yang and Yun-Hong Tan. 2020. Hoya gaoligongensis (Apocynaceae, Asclepiadoideae), A New Species from Yunnan, SW China. Phytotaxa. 459(3); 219-226. DOI: 10.11646/phytotaxa.459.3.3

A New Species of Milkweed Subfamily Found in Yunnan

[Paleontology • 2020] Ogresuchus furatus • A Small Cretaceous Crocodyliform (Notosuchia: Sebecidae) in A Dinosaur Nesting Ground and the Origin of Sebecids

Ogresuchus furatus 
Sellés, Blanco, Vila, Marmi, López-Soriano, Llácer, Frigola, Canals & Galobart, 2020

Sebecosuchia was a group of highly specialized cursorial crocodyliforms that diversified during the Cretaceous and persist until the end of the Miocene. Their unique combination of cranial and post-cranial features indicates that they were active terrestrial predators that occupied the apex of the Late Cretaceous terrestrial ecosystems, even competing with theropod dinosaurs. Here, we report the discovery of the earliest sebecid worldwide, and the first from Eurasia, Ogresuchus furatus gen. et sp. nov., based on a semi-articulate specimen located in a titanosaurian sauropod nesting ground. The new taxon challenges current biogeographical models about the early dispersal and radiation of sebecid crocodylomorphs, and suggests an origin of the group much earlier than previously expected. Moreover, the new taxon suggests a potential convergent evolution between linages geographically isolated. Taphonomic evidences suggest that Ogresuchus died almost in the same place where fossilized, in a dinosaur nesting area. Biometric and morphologic observations lead to speculate that Ogresuchus could easily predate on sauropod hatchlings.

Figure 1: Skeletal remains of of Ogresuchus furatus (MCD-7149). (A,C) Photographic and (B,D) interpretative draws of the postcranial (A,B) and cranial (C,D) elements, and (E) silhouette showing preserved elements of Ogresuchus furatus
cv caudal vertebra, dv dorsal vertebra, fe femur, gr groves, lul left ulna, lt left tibia, m1-4 maxillary tooth, mc metacarpal, nvf neuro-vascular foramens, r rib, rt right tibia, sa sacral. Scale bar = 1 cm for (C,D) and 10 cm for (E).

Systematic palaeontology
Crocodylomorpha Walker, 1970 (sensu Clark, 1986).
Crocodyliformes Hay, 1930 (sensu Clark, 1986).

Mesoeucrocodylia Whetstone and Whybrow, 1983.
Notosuchia Gasparini, 1971.

Sebecosuchia Simpson, 1937.
Sebecidae Simpson, 1937.

Ogresuchus furatus gen. et sp. nov.

Diagnosis: Small-sized sebecid diagnosed by the following autapomorphies: five maxillary tooth positions; teeth with smooth (unserrated) carinae; presence of apicobasal ridges on the enamel of the incisiviform and caniniform teeth; presence of apicobasal ridges on the enamel of posterior teeth; large and aligned neurovascular foramina on lateral surface of the maxilla; foramen in perinarial depression of the premaxilla; very large incisive foramen; absence of a large nutrient foramen on palatal surface of the premaxilla-maxilla contact; palatal surface of the maxilla without rugose surface; nasal-maxilary contacts remain parallel to each other (do not converge anteriorly or posteriorly); postzygapophyses located dorsally to the transverse processes in dorsal vertebrae.

Etymology: Genus name after Ogre- (French), in reference to the inferred feeding behaviour that included infant individuals, like the mythological creature from European folk tales; and –suchus, from the Greek Souchos meaning crocodile. Species name after furatus, from the Latin furari meaning to be stolen, in reference to the unfortunate event that took place during the fieldworks (see Supplementary Information S1).

Holotype: MCD-7149 (Museu de la Conca Dellà), a semi-articulate skeleton preserving the anterior part of the rostrum and several axial and appendicular elements (Fig. 1), and nine associate blocks containing large dinosaur eggshell fragments.

Type locality and horizon: El Mirador site, (Coll de Nargó area, Lleida Province, Catalonia). High cemented grey marl level from the “lower grey unit” of the Tremp Formation; early Maastrichtian (near the C32n-C31r chrone boundary).

Figure 2: 3D reconstruction of the skull of Ogresuchus furatus (MCD-7149) in (a) lateral, (b) medial, (c) dorsal, (d) palatal, and (e) cranial view. (f) Volume rendering of the segmented neurovascular network of the trigeminal nerve overlaid on the articulated premaxilla and maxilla. 
app anterior palpebral, ch choana, dn dentary notch, en external naris, f neuro-vascular foramen, if inferior foramen, l-mx lacrimal-maxilla contact, m1-5 maxillary tooth, mes medial shelf, mx maxilla, paf palatal foramen, pd paramedian depressions, pfr prefrontal, plt palatine, pltf palatine foramen, pm1-4 premaxillary tooth, pmx premaxilla, pmx-mx premaxilla-maxilla contact, poas posantral strut, s apicobasal sulcus, snv-tgn V supranarial vessels and the trigeminal nerve V (ophthalmic branch), mv-tgn V maxillary vessels and the trigeminal nerve V (maxillary branch). Scale bar = 2 cm.

Figure 3: Time-calibrated evolutionary tree for Sebecosuchia. Reduced Consensus tree produced in TNT, with additional sebecosuchia taxa incorporated (see Supplementary text). The circles at each node represent the relative probabilities for the ancestral areas inferred using the Statistic Divergence-Vicariance Analysis method (S-DIVA; see Supplementary text). Global paleogeographic reconstructions from the Paleobiology Database (

Albert G. Sellés, Alejandro Blanco, Bernat Vila, Josep Marmi, Francisco J. López-Soriano, Sergio Llácer, Jaime Frigola, Miquel Canals and Àngel Galobart. 2020. A Small Cretaceous Crocodyliform in A Dinosaur Nesting Ground and the Origin of Sebecids. Scientific Reports.  10, 15293. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-020-71975-y

[Herpetology • 2020] Abronia morenica • A New Species of Abronia (Squamata: Anguidae) from a Protected Area in Chiapas, Mexico

Abronia morenica  
Clause, Luna-Reyes & De Oca, 2020


We describe a new species of the genus Abronia from the La Sepultura Biosphere Reserve in western Chiapas, México. The new species is known only from the vicinity of the type locality in the Sierra Madre de Chiapas. It is readily distinguished from all congeners by the following combination of characters: lack of protuberant or spine-like supra-auricular scales, lack of protuberant or casque-like posterolateral head scales, 30–35 transverse dorsal scale rows, lateralmost row of ventral scales enlarged relative to adjacent medial row, dorsum brown with 8–10 transverse dark crossbands, and dark lateral bar on the neck extending from the shoulder to near the auricular opening. We tentatively assign the new species to the subgenus Lissabronia pending the availability of a robust, comprehensive molecular phylogeny for the genus. We discuss regional Abronia biogeography and comment on the conservation implications of our discovery for the imperiled highland forests of the Sierra Madre de Chiapas, a globally important center of endemism.

KEYWORDS: Alligator lizard, biosphere reserve, conservation, Gerrhonotinae, morphology, Sierra Madre de Chiapas, systematics, taxonomy

Abronia morenica

Adam G. Clause, Roberto Luna-Reyes and Adrián Nieto-Montes De Oca. 2020. A New Species of Abronia (Squamata: Anguidae) from a Protected Area in Chiapas, Mexico. Herpetologica. 76(3); 330-343. DOI: 10.1655/Herpetologica-D-19-00047

New ‘tree dragon’ discovered in Mexican forest